It is very unfortunate that over the past 60 years, the Sinhala and Tamil leadership have failed to arrive at a mechanism through which the different communities of the country could share power. As a result, Sri Lanka, which was a role model for other developing countries in terms of education, health and other qualities of life indicators, has now come to the brink of destruction.
The 25 years of war in the country has exhausted the Tamil people completely. The glamour of war has lost its appeal and the earlier fervour for violence has abated. They fervently yearn for a political solution to bring an end to the war.
Majority of the Tamil speaking people are opposed to violence. The basic demand of the Tamil speaking people is a reasonable and just solution to the burning ethnic issues. The people long and wait for a meaningful political settlement. All the people in Sri Lanka sincerely long for a peaceful life, irrespective of race.
The time is ripe to lay the foundation for a stable political solution through political negotiations. The global trends too indicate that working out solutions through non-violent political means can be more fruitful than mindless violence. Bitter experiences of the failed past is forcing the nation to accept the view that there are alternatives to intransigent and bloodletting politics in solving the problem of the Tamil speaking people.
It is now quite apparent that by rejecting the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and by obstructing its implementation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have betrayed the fundamental aspiration of the Tamil people.
Even the other Tamil leadership has failed to make use of the political opportunities that were available to them. Thus, the Tamils have lost many opportunities to fulfil their hopes.
The EPDP returned to the democratic mainstream and gave up arms with the view to finding a negotiated settlement after the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. EPDP functions fundamentally on the principle that devolution of power for the North and East, should be the basis for the lasting peace.
We, the EPDP, are convinced that the ethnic issue has to be approached in a pragmatic way, relying essentially on negotiations and avoiding military confrontations. We do not want to drag our people through recurring blood paths.
The past mistakes of the governments, which came to power, should not be repeated again. In the past, too much trust was placed on the goodwill of the Tigers, who have a history of scuttling any initiative towards a peaceful resolution of the ethnic problem.
Another problem was the failure of a consensus among the main political parties in the south for petty political gains.
The Governments which came to power, always tried to appease the LTTE at first, and the Tigers in turn used these opportunities to build themselves up to prolong the war. This is why it is necessary for the present Government to take a bold initiative and table a practical proposal that would fulfil the aspirations of all Sri Lankans. Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights should be given prominence in any new initiative taken by the Government.
Hence, we would like to present a Three Stage Solution that could meet the political goals of the Tamil speaking people.